Silicon Valley

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

Thorin McGee is editor-in-chief and content director of Target Marketing and oversees editorial direction and product development for the magazine, website and other channels.

Customer experience is increasingly recognized as the key brand differentiator of the future as price and product variances tighten. And for those in the financial services industry, digital is expected to be the customer experience battleground as traditional channels give way to digital.

Choose your heroes wisely. I used to be in a marketing leadership group, and any time we got into a discussion, someone invariably brought up how Steve Jobs did things. I’ve seen this in marketing pitch meetings, as well.

It’s Comcast. The nation’s largest cable company — the $169 billion Philadelphia-based behemoth that also controls Universal Parks & Resorts, “Sunday Night Football” and MSNBC — is among a handful of employers declaring progress in reaching a much-desired goal. In the last five years, the company says, its health care costs have stayed nearly flat. They are increasing by about 1 percent a year, well under the 3 percent average of other large employers and below general inflation.

How did 2017 work out for you? Well, let’s look forward to 2018 — and imagine what could be. The optimist in me is gung-ho on what’s transpiring in the world economy — and nearer at home.

Marketers invest oodles in Google ads, but they woke up Monday to #googlememo and #GoogleManifesto hashtags. The Twitter trends highlighted a sexist screed that circulated in the powerful Silicon Valley tech firm. Chances are, the search giant’s quarterly advertising revenue will remain in the billions, but will the public call for an Uber-style leadership ouster? And what will that mean for marketers?

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